Wine country has a bounty of first-rate restaurants for dining. But when I was looking for a lunch option during my recent Presidents’ Day weekend in Napa Valley, I found some of the buzzworthy places were only opened for dinner.
Still, you can count on something spectacular in Yountville – which in recent years has been the epicenter for great restaurants. My friends and I ended up at Redd Wood, the casual California-style restaurant of Chef Richard Reddington, known more for his fine-dining Redd restaurant.
Reddington opened Redd Wood to provide a more casual experience, but still one with a sophisticated and tasty vibe. The beautiful room has a slight hunting lodge feel mixed with the popular open pizza oven kitchen. The lunch menu provides a nice choice of charcuterie, pizza and pasta to create a relaxing lunch with either specialty cocktails or wine, of course.
Predictable But Done Well
The dishes play on expected ingredients like arugula, prosciutto and short ribs, but the stellar preparations from the kitchen makes dining here satisfying and filling. The chopped salad ($13), for example, was a chunky hearty mess of radicchio and romaine with cubes of provolone cheese and meats. The prosciutto pizza ($15) we ordered looked like a classic California pie with arugula and a nice farm fresh egg on top (additional $3), and the crust was the ubiquitous blistered thin crust.
I felt like the entrees (we ordered the only two listed for lunch) really shined, even though, again, they weren’t anything unusual. Braised short ribs and roasted chicken might sound straight forward, but they were both nicely done with a beautifully browned roasted chicken and fork tender and intensely flavorful short ribs with a luscious cauliflower risotto.
The Last Bite
Redd Wood is a handsome restaurant that you’d find anywhere in San Francisco, offering an expected menu. But in wine country, the beautiful space, relaxing vibe and well-executed dishes make it a welcomed lunch spot.
Rating: 3 out of 4 camera snaps
Redd Wood, 6755 Washington St., Yountville, Calif. PH: 707.299.5030. Open daily for lunch and dinner. Reservations, major credit cards accepted. www.redd-wood.com
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